Emad's Blog (Under Renovation)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Still Remember, the 3rd of November?

I got a number of off-the-blog comments about the title of my last post. Since it was a ripoff from V for Vendetta, the events of the last few days further my strength in conviction about the similarities of the movie with what we're living: A terror state, general apathy all around, access only to puppet media, a 'supreme' commander/dictator, November, and so on.. What's missing is a 'V' that would dare to challenge status quo, a 'V' that would send a white mask to every home. Perhaps, though, it isn't an individual that will actually play 'V' but a collective. However, there are a lot of mixed feelings coming out of the last few days that I haven't gotten a chance to hit blogger.

There were two extremely shameful events that took place recently. First a bunch of school kids - aged between 14 and 18 were arrested in Islamabad for .. well, nothing! I've attached the video below made by one of them. As you can see in the happenings of the second half, the students were simply taken away by riot police when they refused to confront them and obey their instructions! Let me tell you something about Islamabad - kids here are known to be the educated, self absorbed, never stepped too far from home kind - so I guess thats reason enough for the 'security' officials consider them a threat to public safety and put these heinous creatures behind bars! Well, surely this event will change the outlook these kids have of the world we live in! Splendid.

The second event is the one that I woke up to today as a dear friend of mine called me up and informed me about how a bunch of students belonging to the religious student wing (known for their 'bad activism' and terror games over the years) had held Imran Khan captive at a seminar he was supposed to address at Punjab University today - the largest uni in Pak. Not only was it shameful knowing that a bunch of hooligans, that had clearly been paid off, had forcefully restrained him and were handing him over to the authorities, they also decided to beat him to pulp while doing so! Wtf, mate!

Anyway, I'm going to keep this post short since there's a number of things on my plate, students elsewhere in the country have been continuing to show their symbolic disapproval through a program of sending flowers to the suspended judges, and more recently through Candle Light Vigils like the one below at LUMS.

In other news, Benny invited a bunch of students to her place to gain their support, but they had to clarify their stance as non-affiliated to political parties, working only for the restoration for our rights to justice, and invited her instead to come over to LUMS to share her thoughts with the students. Let's see if she makes it. I'm obviously still pretty cynical about her continued temporary 'house arrests' in different cities. More on that for another day.

In the mean time international support (or the lack thereof) from governments has been pretty depressing with both the U.S. and the EU shying away from any tangible pressure on the Govt of Pak. I guess it's always been in their interest to manage a less than democratic leader that didn't have a mandate to serve. The breath of fresh air, quite surprisingly actually, has been Switzerland, who suspended the aid for some military functions.

There has been massive support coming from a number of human rights groups worldwide that condemn the continued and unsupervised affliction of pain on the citizens of this country. Also the legal community in the U.S. has issued a statement through the Yale Law School and Harvard Law School has awarded the Medal of Freedom to the suspended Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Finally, on a very personal note, while I have been thrilled to see the coverage on international media about bloggers trying to get the word out, and so on, I'm truly thankful to all those that have been supporting and encouraging over the past few days.. believe me each one of you is making a difference.. Thank you so much. And yea, for everyone, yes, I'm safe and still typing. Thanks for reading.

"... it's not about being pakistani or not. it's about caring or not. for the world at large. and i have decided a long time ago that i care ... there are so many factors of uncertainty and pressure: having to pretend everything's perfectly normal at work ... trying hard not to freak out my family, and last but not least ensuring my own safety when it is absolutely impossible to tell when journalism becomes a reason for expulsion, compassion turns into recklessness and cautiousness into paranoia..." - So Well Said. So Well Said, Indeed.

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  • Nice picture of the vigil there

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 15/11/07 10:10  

  • as always, a riveting read. you make me feel like i may be here for a reason after all.. thank you for the endless support and energy from your side, in these uncertain times i need it more than ever and dude i have to come to lahore! in fact i sometimes wish i could quit my job and devote all my time to this. CSR seems like such a trivial thing at this point.

    i know it's starting to sound old, but be safe.

    love from isloo, c.

    By Blogger cj, At 15/11/07 11:50  

  • Hey, great post as usual! I saw something hilarious online and thought I'd pass it on to you:

    It's from one of those Blackfish guys.

    By Anonymous Rabayl, At 15/11/07 12:56  

  • added you on demesne@gmail.com

    By Blogger Pixie, At 15/11/07 15:18  

  • @Rabayl: Good find man! :))

    By Blogger eMad, At 16/11/07 16:57  

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